Shucking an oyster is tricky. If no one shows you how to do it, this can lead to one of two problems. 1) You decide to attempt it on your own, start stabbing a knife in between the shells, and slice your hand open. 2) You look at this creature… and decide to order Chinese instead. However, if you know what you’re doing, you get that thing open and have a delicacy awaiting you.
Cyber space is much like an oyster. The ways in which the world can connect online makes for endless opportunities. The world is our oyster today thanks to cyber space. We just need to make sure that we use it wisely. How do we teach our kids to embrace the positive aspects of this world wide connection while minimizing the risks?
Catholic Charities provides some helpful, simple to follow tips:
Parents/guardians should know every single one of their kids’ passwords. Don’t just keep those passwords in a safe place. Login regularly to make sure the passwords have not been changed and they’re not doing anything or talking to anyone they shouldn’t be.
With great technology comes great responsibility- for parents. Set boundaries and enforce them. Sit down with your kid and discuss rules. Some examples we recommend: no private chats, all pictures must be approved before being posted, no public information sharing, no friending someone you have not personally met, even if it is a friend of a friend.
We say it a lot and we’ll say it again: talk to your kids! Don’t wait until you notice something is wrong to start talking about the hard things. Start the conversations early and often. The more you talk to them about things like bullying, drugs, sex, and sex trafficking, the more likely they are to talk to you when they need to. If you don’t talk, your kid is more likely to think you don’t understand these things, that you don’t care,
that they can’t come to you and they will turn elsewhere.
Let the world be their oyster, just show them how to open up this world of possibilities safely.
If you don’t teach your kids to shuck an oyster, eventually they will come across one, attempt to open it themselves, and there’s a good chance they can get hurt. We can’t just keep our kids offline. Kids do need the internet in today’s world. Help them embrace the positive aspects, but teach them how to minimize the risks.